Roman Pale Glass Bottle


An elegant Roman bottle, blown in pale blue glass. The vessel features a globular body, an elongated, cylindrical neck with a slight constriction at its base and a wide, flat rim. The glass is sitting on a slightly concave base and displays much of the original translucency, with iridescence and some earthly encrustations to the surface.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
Condition: Very fine, some earthly deposits to the surface.


SKU: CS-120 Category: Tags: , ,

Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. The small body and mouth of the vessels allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making. The new technique allowed craftsmen to use smaller amounts of glass for each vessel and obtain much thinner walls, so enabling the creation of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. These small glass bottles are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids which filled them would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire. The iridescence on ancient Roman glass was unintentional, and was caused by weathering on its surface. The extent to which a glass object weathers depends mainly on the burial conditions; however, the humidity, heat, and type of soil in which the glass was buried also all affect its preservation.

To find out more about Roman glass please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Roman Glass.

Weight 23.2 g
Dimensions W 4.8 x H 9.8 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Victoria and Albert Museum, item number 5187-1901

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